By Tushar Goyal June 1, 2017
FasTest offers a combination of a comprehensive pre-built test library, dashboards for reporting and test metrics, test and defect management tools and data mining tools to provide a complete test management solution that appeals to IT, Business and Management alike. FasTest is the only natively integrated solution for PeopleSoft test automation in marketplace today offering the value proposition described above.
Q. What would be Astute’s approach for delivering pre-built test cases when there are a lot of customizations around the PeopleSoft products?
Answer: Astute’s pre-built library has been proven on numerous PeopleSoft V9.2 Upgrade, PUM Update and Tools Upgrade projects. The FasTest pre-built library of automated PTF Tests is built with PTF and Test Automation Best Practices which can be used as an excellent reference point to create new Tests. Here is how the FasTest pre-built Test library is used for customizations.
Q. What are the contents of Astute’s pre-built library? Do you cover all delivered modules and application pillars of PeopleSoft?
Answer: Astute’s PTF pre-built library comprise of PTF Tests and Shell Tests. PTF Tests are the individual transactions and Shell Tests represent end to end business/functional scenarios. Astute’s pre-built library has test scripts for all modules within all of the PeopleSoft application pillars such as Financials and Supply Chain, Human Capital Management, Campus Solutions, etc. Our pre-built library has been meticulously created with inputs from our functional consultants and boast of real life functional scenarios.
Q. Can FasTest accommodate and execute manual test cases? If yes, is there an automated way to enter (load) our existing test suite?
Answer: The Test Manager feature within FasTest allows Customer to manage, track, edit and maintain both automated and manual tests. Test Manager, built in Fluid UI, is simple, intuitive and powerful. It has an automatic upload feature to upload a Customer’s current set of manual Tests into Test Manager via the Excel Upload feature. Test Manager has the following capabilities:-
Q. What’s Astute’s recommendation on centralized vs decentralized test instance for PTF and FasTest?
Answer: Astute recommends all its’ customers a centralized test instance approach for PTF and FasTest. A dedicated test instance is used for hosting FasTest and also stores the entire PTF Test library. The reason for this approach is twofold: Firstly, the entire PTF Test library is away from the database/instance refresh path and eliminates the danger of losing PTF Test scripts. Secondly, with FasTest you can easily report on Test results from across all Test instances in one centralized location without the hassle of logging into another instance.
Q. Can we schedule batch Test scripts?
Answer: The Schedule Test feature in FasTest tools allows users to schedule one or more Tests to be executed at a specified date and time. Users can use the Test Case Generator and set up multiple Test Cases (sets of test values) for a single Test or Shell Test and schedule this to run at a specified date and time. Users can do the same with Process Scheduler and add multiple tests (for example, all tests in a module) into a batch and schedule those to run at a specified date and time. Tests are scheduled via Windows Scheduler.
Q. Can we schedule as many tests as we want to run at a particular time ?
Answer: Yes. You can schedule as many tests as you want into one batch schedule or split it up into multiple batch executions depending on the load. If you wish to run these batch schedules in parallel, you will have to provision multiple virtual desktops (Astute can help with this during the implementation) as each desktop client can run only one batch at a time and the batch programs will run in sequence on each client.
Q. What kind of security is enabled as to who can view tests, who can schedule tests?
Answer: FasTest has custom roles defined which are inline with the basic PTF security roles PTF User, PTF Admin and PTF Editor to manage access to different FasTest components for test management and scheduling. In addition, Astute can build custom PeopleSoft Security roles and permission lists to help you secure this as per your business need.
Q. When the Customer buys FasTest, should it be installed separately on FSCM, HCM, etc.?
Answer: Astute recommends that you have one centralized PeopleSoft instance (a demo instance) for each pillar of PeopleSoft, so one for FSCM, one for HCM etc. This is a best practice that Astute has developed through its experience with multiple FasTest and PTF implementations. Doing so keeps the FasTest automation library and test logs in one centralized place, which makes maintenance, reporting and test management easier and streamlined.
It is also possible to have one centralized PeopleSoft instance across all pillars (so one FasTest instance that has all the automated tests for all pillars in one database). However, for this to work, we would ideally like to see all those application pillars be on the same PeopleTools release.
Additional Information on Scheduling Tests: How many virtual desktops (hosts) would be recommended (assume a certain level of concurrency with running PTF tests in each application). For a 20 user concurrency, there are a couple of options:
Q. Can FasTest integrate with external data input files such as Microsoft Excel?
Answer: FasTest allows users to load Test Cases (one or more sets of test values for a test) from Excel and run the Test for those values. The FasTest Excel Load for Test Cases has following features:
Q. How are test results captured (Screenshots/log files)?
Answer: FasTest captures test results for automated and manual tests and presents it via the FasTest Dashboard (available in Classic as well as Fluid UI). The main capabilities here are:
Q. What kind of dashboard and data mining reports does FasTest provide?
Answer: Dashboard Reporting
The FasTest Dashboard provides near real-time test and defect reports and analytics to the User. The following reports are available:
The FasTest Data Mining Tool (also referred to as TestPlosion) provides Customers the ability to use PS Query based data mining scripts to generate one or more rows of test data from Customer’s own transaction history and/or configuration tables in PeopleSoft. The FasTest Data Mining Tool comes pre-built with some data mining queries and others can be built based on Customer need.
Customers have the ability to convert their existing queries into data mining tools in FasTest and associate them with Tests or Shell Tests.
Q. Does FasTest integrate with other testing tools?
Answer: FasTest provides Web Service and Flat File integration capabilities to expose PTF Test, PTF log and FasTest Defect data elements for third party applications to consume. Integration can be bi-directional. FasTest provides the following web service endpoints currently:
Astute will define the scope of integration with Customer and implement such integration at the time of FasTest implementation.
Q. We have X no. of people, they wouldn't want to learn PTF. How can FasTest help?
Answer: FasTest is an intuitive and powerful Automation tool which enables the user to do almost all of their Testing without logging into PTF client. This makes it easier for the Business users to test/manage/track testing without having to learn PTF. However, basic knowledge of PTF and Automated Testing is needed in order to be successful. Astute provides basic and advanced training as part of the FasTest software package and this training is included in all of our JumpStart implementation services.
NOTE: In FasTest and PTF Terminology, the equivalent of a manual ‘test case’ is a Test or a Shell Test (contains multiple PTF Tests).
Here are the skill sets that Astute will help Customer develop and maintain as part of the FasTest Implementation and Maintenance contracts:
Q. Is there a PTF Test Maintenance Strategy that Astute provides to its Customers?
Answer: Every Customer needs to define a PTF Test maintenance strategy to maintain all the PTF Test scripts. The PTF delivered ‘Test Maintenance Report’ is an effective tool for test maintenance. Some of the steps to utilize this report in case of a new project are highlighted below:
Q. Do we get FasTest license separately for each instance?
Answer: FasTest is licensed by each PeopleSoft application pillar. FasTest for FSCM is a separate license and FasTest for HCM is another license. Each license is a perpetual license and gives the Customer the ability to add unlimited users (testers) and run it on as many PeopleSoft instances within that pillars as they deem necessary. Typically, Astute bundles multi-pillar licenses into one contract and offers discounts if the Customer is willing to purchase multiple pillars at the same time. The annual maintenance fee is applicable to each pillar that FasTest is licensed for.
Q. What is PeopleSoft Test Framework (PTF)?
Answer: PeopleSoft Test Framework(PTF) is an automation tool for functional testing. The PTF recreates the actions of a user executing functional tests against a PeopleSoft Internet Architecture system inside a browser. It allows for testers to record their procedures and save for reuse in testing. The tests can be re-run as need be after upgrades, patches, or customization.
Q. How does PTF work?
Answer: PTF is a Record and Playback tool for functional testing. Users can record manual test procedures and save them within the framework. During Playback, users can execute those tests against the application to verify whether the application still behaves as expected. Each manually recorded test is saved as a special type of PeopleTools object called a test.
Q. What was the earliest version of delivered PTF?
Answer: PTF was first delivered in PeopleTools 8.51. Versions 8.52 through 8.55 have delivered significant revisions to the original release and also addressed some bugs.
Q. How does PTF Connectivity work?
Answer: The PTF client is a stand alone program that runs on a Microsoft Windows workstation.The PTF client connects to the PeopleSoft application database where test assets are stored using a secure HTTPS connection through Integration Broker Web Services. There is an installation folder under the PS HOME for installing the PTF client. Installation guidelines are available in the PeopleBooks. Astute has further documented to help you in the installation.
Q. Can PTF be used with multiple browsers like Chrome or Firefox?
Answer: From 8.55 onwards, PTF allows you to play back tests in IE, Chrome and Firefox. The recording feature is limited to Internet Explorer.
Q. Can recorded Tests be migrated to new systems?
Answer: Yes. Since the Test assets, including tests, test cases, logs and execution option, are stored in the PeopleSoft database and are treated as other Application Designer objects, they can be compared and copied between systems.
Q. Do we need a coding language with PTF?
Answer: There is no coding language per se. The scripts are built on delivered functions that are provided on the PTF Toolbar and Test Recorder. There is a Test Language Reference in PeopleBooks that describes the functions you can use within PTF scripts.
Q. What are some of the limitations of PTF?
Answer: PTF is not designed to:
Q. Can PTF find errors and correct them?
Answer: As a best practice, while scripts are being recorded, you need to incorporate error handling steps within the tests scripts which you would do otherwise if you were manually testing it. You also need to include verification steps at appropriate stages. So, look for error conditions online as part of the transaction and incorporate the error handling into your test script. Whether you can issue a corrective action within the test script itself depends on whether that is part of the same transaction in PeopleSoft.
Q. Is it correct that PTF would auto detect SQR failures? How specifically can PTF report the cause of an SQR failure?
Answer: PTF can trigger SQRs, Application Engine programs and PS Jobs from PeopleSoft run control pages. Once the process is triggered, PTF waits for the process to complete and will report the status of the process upon completion. PTF allows user to specify the ‘expected result’ which is compared with the ‘Actual result’ to log a Pass/Fail.
Once the process execution completes, the test can drill down into the ‘message log’ and/or ‘View log’ link and take screenshots for further debugging in case the process fails
Q. Are there any on-line testing scenarios for which PTF either cannot be used or is not a good fit?
Answer: PTF has the following limitations:
Q. What is effort needed to maintain test scripts for customizations and what is a typical process?
Answer: The PTF delivered ‘Test Maintenance Report’ is an effective tool for test maintenance. High level steps include the following:-
Astute provides basic and advanced training for FasTest and PTF. Training is offered as a standalone service and also as part of the FasTest implementation consulting service. The detailed training agenda for PTF training is online here.
Following are the skill sets that Astute will help Customer develop and maintain as part of the FasTest Implementation and Maintenance contracts
Technical (IT) Support Team
Q. Will Astute help us define a Testing Strategy?
Answer: Astute will create a testing strategy and plan document that incorporates PeopleSoft application testing using FasTest and PeopleSoft Test Framework. The test strategy will cover:
Answer: Astute’s implementation methodology for FasTest starts with a series of workshops designed to gather business requirements for test automation.
Q. How will Astute help in implementing Customer Specific Tests?
Answer: Astute defines Customer specific test cases as follows:
Our goal is to build automated tests that include validation of the test, i.e. inspecting the test after it has run or during the run to measure pass/fail criteria and later report it
Q. What are the maintenance and support options that Astute offers? How are the scripts maintained for the PUM releases/upgrades?
Answer. FasTest Support includes the following: